This week Untours is talking with Val Storrie, our local Scotland Untours host, based near Stirling. We’re getting the inside scoop about what are the best local gems to see and what experiences to not miss when in Scotland.
What do you love about living in Scotland?
The friendly people, the banter, the stunning and dramatic landscape, the beautiful islands, and the history.
What is something people don’t know about Scotland?
Scotland’s official animal is the unicorn.
Where are the top places Untourists should explore in Stirling?
Be sure to find time for Castle Campbell, the Dollar Glen, Cambuskenneth Abbey, Stirling Castle, Doune Castle, the Wallace Monument, the Battle of Bannockburn Experience, Dunblane Cathedral, and the Deanston Distillery.
What are you most excited about sharing with the Scotland Untourist?
I am thrilled to share my hometown with Untourists, especially Dunblane and its cathedral…my favorite part of the city!
Aside from sightseeing, what experiences should should Americans seek in Scotland?
Golf, live Scottish music, haggis and whisky tasting, Highland games and shows, and dolphin watching. All are uniquely Scottish experiences every Untourist should seek out when here.
What are some of Americans’ misconceptions regarding Scotland and the Scottish?
That all we wear are kilts and tartan, we live in castles (I wish!), and drink nothing but whisky and eat haggis!
What do Americans typically love about Scotland?
The beautiful nature we have here such as the lush green countryside, the Highlands, the islands and the mountains. All are breathtaking. Besides our scenery, the friendly Scottish people, the history, the castles, and of course the bagpipes are sure to please.
What surprises Americans about Scotland?
How wild our weather is! But also how good our public transport is and how easy it is to get around. Much of what’s worth seeing (both tourist spots and local gems) are fairly concentrated, despite there being lots to do, without going too far.
What are some secretly great places that Scotland has hidden?
Some of the best local treasures include Falls of Dochart, Inchmahome Island and Priory, and the Hermitage.
Why should people book a Scotland Untour? What is the advantage of seeing the area this way?
They will have a very enthusiastic, helpful Untours host (like myself!) available to answer or find the answers to any question. From the minute they arrive in Scotland until the minute they are sitting on their flight home, Untourists tend to feel more comfortable, knowing that I am never far away. They will be able to save themselves time, avoid any pitfalls, and get to see the best places with my full support.
Any final advice for people looking to visit Scotland?
Be prepared for all weathers and four seasons in one day so pack practical clothes. Try and chat with the locals anywhere, whether it’s a bus stop or pub, and share a dram or pint. Try steak pie as well as haggis.
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